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Arnaud’s Empress Gin Cocktail [ Honeydew Southside ]
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Garnished with flower petals…

I first tried this wonderful cocktail at Arnaud’s French 75 bar in New Orleans.  It was on special and looked delicious so I had to give it a try.  I have never seen a recipe for it, so here is mine.  The Empress is a variation on the traditional Southside Gin Cocktail, but with a little twist in terms of how it is sweetened.  Instead of just simple syrup, a Honeydew Melon Cordial is used.

Ingredients

2 oz of your favorite gin.  Hendricks works great in this cocktail

1 oz lime juice, preferably fresh squeezed

1.5 oz Honeydew Cordial (see below for details)

1 healthy sprig of mint

1 fresh mint leaf for garnish

Honeydew Cordial

1 Honeydew Melon

Simple Syrup

Preparation

Let’s make the Honeydew Cordial first.

Basically, slice up honeydew melon stick it in a blender, puree, then add simple syrup to increase the level about 50%.  Pulse the blender again to combine the simple syrup and honeydew puree.

Now you’re ready to make the cocktail.  Put the mint sprig in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.  Muddle.  Add ice.  Add the remaining ingredients, shake, and pour the cocktail.  Garnish with the mint leaf.

At Arnaud’s they garnished with violet flower petals which made a very pretty accent.